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Saúde e Sociedade

Print version ISSN 0104-1290
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RIOS, Leonardo et al. Prevalence of intestinal parasites and social-environmental aspects in an indigenous Community in the Iauaretê District, Municipality of São Gabriel da Cachoeira (State of Amazonas), Brazil. Saude soc. [online]. 2007, vol.16, n.2, pp.76-86. ISSN 0104-1290.

The Iauaretê District is the second largest human concentration centre in the municipality of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, state of Amazonas. Situated in Alto Rio Negro Indigenous Land, on the border between Brazil and Colombia, Iauaretê aggregates ten villages, encompassing 15 ethnic cultures. This indigenous district has been undergoing a process of progressive transformation from a disperse and riparian occupation pattern into a settlement with urban features, with approximately 2,700 inhabitants, triggering public health problems. Aiming to investigate the distribution of the prevalence of intestinal parasites in the local population and to discuss the relation between this health indicator and socio-environmental aspects in the Iauaretê district, the quality of the drinking water was analyzed and parasitological exams of excreta and soil samples were conducted. Of the total of analyzed water samples, 89.2% showed positive result for thermotolerant coliforms. The Dom Bosco village was the one presenting the highest prevalence index in excreta samples, with 76% of the individuals infested. The São José village presented the lowest index (56%). The most prevalent parasites were, in decreasing order: Ascaris lumbricoides (64.84%), Entamoeba coli (32.58%), Endolimax nana (14.84%), and Blastoyistis hominis (13.39%). The most significant prevalences of parasites in soil samples were Ascaris sp eggs (52.6%), Entamoeba coli cysts (52.6%) and hookworms larvae (52.6%). In conclusion, high indexes of intestinal parasitism in the population, together with lack of basic sanitation and maintenance of traditional sanitary practices are matters of concern in the public health area.

Keywords : Indigenous Health; Environmental Health; Public Health; Intestinal Parasites.

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